CALL FOR PAPERS: JUA Special Issue on Black Meccas of the South

Call for Papers: JUA Special Issue
Black Meccas of the South

The Journal of Urban Affairs invites article submissions for a special issue on “Black Meccas of the South,” guest edited by Kali-Ahset Amen (Emory University) and Deirdre Oakley (Georgia State University).

Employing an inter-American framework to interrogate and reposition the Black Mecca landscape, this special issue will: (1) attend to the time-specific, particular and undertheorized character of southern cities as actual and possible Black Meccas; (2) contend with the conceptual limitations of U.S.-centric, northern, and nation-bound categories of urban black place-making; and (3) explore the significance of economic, cultural, and people flows between hemispheric southern spaces (e.g. U.S. Deep South, the Caribbean, and coastal regions of Central and South America) in the making and re-scaling of black/Afro-descendant urban place and space. For this special issue, we invite submissions of empirical, theoretical, and review papers that examine these issues in relation to urban Afro-descendant populations along a number of place-making dimensions.

Interested authors should submit a 150-word abstract to the guest editors by email at JUAblackmeccas@gmail.com. Abstracts must be received by December 15, 2017. Following the review of abstracts, selected authors must submit final papers to the guest editors for initial evaluation by March 30, 2018. Once evaluated, the guest editors will instruct the authors to upload their papers to Scholar One for peer review. Questions about this special issue should be submitted to the email above.

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Overview. In the U.S. context, the term Black Mecca has typically referred to cities where African Americans have better employment opportunities, a large black middle class, a black political elite, historically black colleges and universities, as well as prominent incubators of black arts, music, culture and other innovations. Depending on their location, such cities may or may not feature black demographic majorities. In the North and Mid-West, New York, NY and Chicago, IL have been regarded as black cultural meccas since the 1920s. An anchor for black middle class strivers, Washington, D.C. long reigned as a Mid-Atlantic mecca, bearing the moniker “Chocolate City.” Atlanta, GA emerged as the archetypal, modern Black Mecca, first noted in a 1971 Ebony Magazine article touting this southern city as a place where “[b]lack folks have more, live better, accomplish more and deal with whites more effectively than they do anywhere else in the South—or North” (Garland 1971: 152).*

Black Meccas are at a crossroads. Today, widening social inequality confounds the prosperity narrative at the core of the Black Mecca ideal. Major U.S. cities are facing structural transformations (e.g. gentrification, suburbanization of poverty, labor deskilling, and redistricting) that have diminished or reconfigured traditional political-economic and place-based markers of the Black Mecca. Persistent anti-black racism only compounds the racial taint of these shifts. While similar pressures affect all Black Meccas, southern cities like Atlanta, Miami, FL and Charlotte, NC have shown modest resilience as sites of black opportunity and are even growing as destinations for black migration. Some black migrants are heading South from northern metropolitan areas once known as Black Meccas; others are emigrating across national borders to and from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America; still others have relocated from coastal southern cities in the wake of man-made and natural disasters. In view of these realities, we suggest that relational and comparative analytics are needed to understand racial and place formation in historical and emergent Black Meccas of the South in particular.

Regional and racial place-making reconsidered: Black Meccas of the Inter-American South. Our interest in the South responds to the northern and western regional bias dominant in African American urban historiography until the turn of the millennium. We seek to engage an expanding volume of scholarship which investigates, on the one hand, contemporary urban cultures of the black U.S. South, and varied articulations of blackness in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, on the other. The cultural, economic, environmental, and political ties among these geographies are long-standing, as are their variegated linkages to U.S. imperial and racial projects.

Since the 1990s, urbanists have connected local processes of place-making to global systemic processes that reinscribe space within a global political and cultural economy. Likewise, interdisciplinary scholars of the “new Southern studies” framework appeal to the analysis of a transnational South that locates regional processes within a global context. Along these lines, we define the inter-American South as a transoceanic geography that includes the U.S. Deep South, the Caribbean, and coastal regions of Central and South America with significant densities of Afro-descendant populations. We urge attention to trans-local and transnational processes that shape the conditions out of which Black Meccas emerge, decline, shift, or fail to exist at all. Attending to the interplay of urbanization, racialization, and black empowerment in Latin American and Caribbean cities is of key importance because they have been significant centers of innovation for Afro-descendant populations. In many cases, they are places from which Afro-descendants have migrated to Black Meccas of the U.S. South over the generations. With this broader framing in mind, we seek to highlight the interconnectedness of southern places and peoples, even as we probe local singularities of black agency and spatiality.

*Phyl Garland “Atlanta: Black Mecca of the South” Ebony Magazine, August 1971, pp. 152-160.

  1. Submit 150-word abstract to JUAblackmeccas@gmail.com by December 15, 2017.
  2. Selected authors must submit final papers to the guest editors by March 30, 2017 to the email above.
  3. Once evaluated, the guest editors will instruct the authors to upload their papers to Scholar One for peer review.
  4. Questions about this special issue should be submitted to JUAblackmeccas@gmail.com.

Special Issue: Urban Transformations and Spectacles in Brazil

Guest editor: Xuefei Ren

This special issue presents a set of articles that critically examine the changing urban governance, politics, and rights to the city in Brazil in the wake of two mega-events: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. To date, much of the critical geography scholarship on mega-events has been framed in the narrative of accumulation by dispossession, by focusing on the negative consequences of mega-events such as displacement and gentrification. The articles in this special issue build on but also move beyond the dispossession literature, by situating Brazil’s experience with urban structuring in complex layers of historical and institutional contexts. Based on fresh fieldwork and the latest data, the articles collectively examine emerging trends in urban governance in Brazil, through examples such as the launching of major infrastructure projects, evolution of favela housing policies, mobilization led by housing rights activists against removal, the June 2013 protests, and the “rights to the city” movement across major urban centers in the country. One comparative article contrasts Rio 2016 with the Beijing 2008 Olympics, and highlights how global city ambitions have played out differently in China and Brazil, two emerging economies that operate under different political regimes.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Aspirational urbanism from Beijing to Rio de Janeiro: Olympic cities in the Global South and contradictions, by Xuefei Ren

2. Neoliberalization and mega-events: The transition of Rio de Janeiro’’s hybrid urban order, by Luiz Cesar de Queiroz Ribeiro & Orlando Alves dos Santos Junior

3. Rio de Janeiro’’s Olympic dispossessions, by Daniel Bin

4. Evictions and housing policy evolution in Rio de Janeiro: An ANT perspective, by Hector Becerril

5. Undoing the right to the city: World Cup investments and informal settlements in Fortaleza, Brazil, by Clarissa F. Sampaio Freitas

6. Removal, resistance and the right to the olympic city: The case of Vila Autodromo in Rio de Janeiro, by Sukari Ivester

7. Community resistance and the inclusive city: Devising strategies in São Paulo, by Maureen M. Donaghy

8. The politics of contested urban space: The 2013 protest movement in Brazil, by Thomas J. Vicino & Anjuli Fahlberg

Xuefei Ren is an Associate Professor of Global Urban Studies & Sociology at Michigan State University and a Managing Editor of the Journal of Urban Affairs

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Human Dynamics in Smart and Connected Communities

An Open Call for Submissions: Special Issue of Journal of Urban Affairs on “Human Dynamics in Smart and Connected Communities”

Special Issue Guest Editors: Daniel Sui, Ohio State University, USA (Sui.10@osu.edu) & Shih‐Lung Shaw, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA (sshaw@utk.edu)

Abstracts due: July 15, 2017

Aims and Scope

Advancements in location‐aware technology, information and communication technology (ICT), and mobile technology during the past two decades have continued to transform our cities and urban life in profound and unexpected ways, with concomitant changes in spatial and temporal relationships of human activities, behaviors, and movements. In the meantime, detailed data of individual activities and interactions are being collected at an unprecedented spatial and temporal granularity level by vendors (e.g., online searches and purchases, retail store transactions), service providers (e.g., phone companies, banks), social media services (Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, etc.), and government agencies. These big datasets contain useful information for us to better understand human dynamics in both physical and virtual spaces. These diverse datasets have provided urban scholars in multiple disciplines new opportunities to study issues of urban affairs with much improved spatial and temporal granularity.  Building on a series of paper sessions organized at 2017 AAG meetings in Boston and an Open Call for Papers, this special issue will bring together leading scholars in related disciplines to share their research on challenges and solutions of studying human dynamics in the mobile and big data era with a focus on smart and connected communities.

Possible Topics (not exhaustive)

This special issue will place an emphasis on the development of research frameworks, theories, methods and good case studies of tackling key research challenges related to the research of smart and connected communities. Sample topics include:

  • Development of smart and connected communities in the mobile age
  • Digital divide and social inequality
  • The future of work in smart and connected communities
  • Digital divide and sampling issue in human dynamics research
  • Space‐time data models for studying human dynamics
  • Privacy issues in mobile and big data and possible solutions
  • The environmental implications and sustainability of smart and connected   communities
  • Multi‐scale spatiotemporal analysis and modeling of human dynamics
  • Spatiotemporal analysis of human activities in physical and virtual spaces
  • Spatial agent‐based models of human‐environment interactions
  • Uncovering human dynamics hidden in different kinds of big tracking data
  • Spatiotemporal diffusion of innovation and ideas geo‐targeted social media analytics and visualization methods
  • Trajectory data mining, analysis, and visualization.
  • Spatiotemporal social network analysis
  • Data sharing and dissemination in human dynamics research

If you are not sure whether your potential contribution might fit the scope of this special issue, please get in touch with one of the guest editors.

Submission procedure:

Interested authors should notify the guest editors of their intention to submit a paper contribution by sending the title and a 250 word abstract to Daniel Sui (sui.10@osu.edu) and Shih-Lung Shaw (sshaw@utk.edu) by July 15, 2017. The deadline for submissions of the final papers is September 15, 2017.

A condition of submission and acceptance is that papers must pass the normal Journal of Urban Affairs review process. For author instructions, please refer to “Instructions for Authors” at the Journal of Urban Affairs homepage. All manuscripts, including support materials, must be submitted using the journal’s online submission process. Please select the correct special issue in the submission process and indicate this special issue as the target issue. First‐time users of the online submission site must register themselves as an Author. For questions, please contact Daniel Sui (sui.10@osu.edu) or Shih-Lung Shaw (sshaw@utk.edu).

Important dates:

Title and an abstract of no more than 250 words due: July 15, 2017

Full paper submission to the JUA website: September 15, 2017

Initial decision on full papers: November 15, 2017

Revised paper submission to the JUA website: December 15, 2017

Paper acceptance notification: February 15, 2018

Call for Papers: JUA Special Issue on Promoting Social Justice and Equity in Shrinking Cities

Special Issue: Promoting Social Justice and Equity in Shrinking Cities

Guest Editor: Robert Mark Silverman

Submission Deadlines:

Abstracts – December 19, 2016

Full Manuscripts – May 15, 2017

There is an expanding body of scholarship focusing on shrinking cities. The phenomenon is global, with notable examples in Europe, North America, Asia, and other parts of the world. Past research has examined shrinking cities in reference to spatial patterns, demographic shifts, deindustrialization, governance, and urban policy. There is also growing literature focused on the theoretical underpinnings of shrinking cities which questions the salience of existing urban growth paradigms. A common, but underdeveloped, thread in the literature on shrinking cities involves the challenges of promoting social justice and equity. Paradoxically, there is a tendency for society’s most vulnerable groups to be concentrated in shrinking cities, while many policies adopted to promote revitalization in these places fail to address the pressing needs of the poor, aging, and dispossessed. Instead, efforts to revitalize shrinking cities mirror societal trends toward increased social and class polarization that have come to characterize urbanization in the neoliberal era.

The goal of this special issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs (JUA), is to reframe the discussion of shrinking cities, placing an emphasis on the analysis of policies to promote social justice and equity. The special issue will include a mix of manuscripts that appeal to the JUA’s growing global readership. Submissions that critically examine urban policy and governance in shrinking cities with a particular focus on approaches to urban revitalization that embrace redistributive justice are sought. Within this framework, empirical and theoretical papers are welcome that focus on challenges shrinking cities face related to:

  • affordable housing
  • education
  • social welfare policy
  • public safety and policing
  • environment and public health
  • neighborhood revitalization
  • community organizing and empowerment
  • race and ethnic relations

To be considered for publication in this special issue, abstracts (150 words) should be submitted to juashrinkingcities@gmail.com by December 19, 2016. Include a proposed title and contact information for the corresponding author with the abstract. Manuscripts invited for submission are due by May 15, 2017. All manuscripts invited for submission will go through the regular journal review process. Please follow the JUA Author Guidelines: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291467-9906/homepage/ForAuthors.html.

Call for Papers: JUA Special Issue on Refugees and the City

By 2030 more than 60% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas. The urbanized world of the future promises to be more diverse but also more unequal both in terms of population distribution as well as the distribution of resources and opportunities.  In addition to the rural-to-urban migration that is shaping the spatial distribution of cities, political upheavals, armed conflicts and climate change are adding a new stream of migrants to cities as they try to escape the danger and deprivations of home communities. Some cities welcome newcomers and see them as potential resources for future development. Others see them as a threat and try to limit their access to city services and opportunities.

A special issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs will deal with challenges and opportunities created by the “refugee crisis.” We are calling for papers that address city government responses to refugee presence as well as the responses by other actors such as, business, civic, ethnic, and religious leaders and organizations, including social service agencies, neighborhood groups and ordinary citizens. Also, we are looking for papers that address issues about how the arrival of refugees affects the education, economy, and culture and consumption of cities. If you are interested in submitting to this special issue, please contact Gordana Rabrenovic at g.rabrenovic@northeastern.edu or Nihad Bunar at nihad.bunar@buv.su.se.

Deadline July 1, 2017

Call for Papers: JUA Special Issue on Actioning the Progressive City

Guest Editors: Ronald K. Vogel and Meghan Joy
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2017

There is a serious gap between the problems faced by 21st century cities and their proposed solutions, which are often small-scale, siloed and unsustainable. Paradoxically, as cities face the pressures of poverty, unemployment, social and physical infrastructure degradation, and pollution, they are being lauded by other scales of government for their resilience and innovation in solving wicked problems.  Critical urban theory and study highlights the failures and inadequacies of current neoliberal urban policy and austerity programs. The tension between problems, solutions, and expectations in status quo urban policy making begs the question: is there a progressive alternative for cities that promotes equity, democracy, sustainability, and justice? It is now time for scholars to move beyond critiques of neoliberalism to offer a better future for those who live and work in the city.

In this special issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs, we welcome both conceptual and case-focused submissions that examine how to define, build, and action a progressive city in the 21st century. We recognize that the experience of cities in the global south as well as the north offer theoretical insights and practical policy solutions that may move a progressive city agenda forward. We welcome papers that focus on:
  • the values and principles that define a progressive city;
  • how to support progressive leadership, movements, and coalitions to become full-fledged political alternatives;
  • progressive policy visions, agendas, and action plans; and
  • the institutional arrangements required to anchor or nurture a progressive city.
To be considered for publication in this special issue, papers should be submitted to ron.vogel@politics.ryerson.ca.  All submissions will go through the regular journal review process.  Please follow the JUA Author Guidelines which can be found at: